CNC investments providing the edge in tight labor market
U.S. manufacturers added 24,000 workers in April, the seventh consecutive month of robust gains, while total employment reached more than 12.6 million workers. That marks the highest level of manufacturing employment since December 2008.
Overall, the manufacturing industry showed expansion for the 20th consecutive month, according to an Institute for Supply Management monthly report. The report noted this expansion was because of continued growth in new orders, production activity, employment and inventories.
While this growth is impressive, the bigger picture is that, as demand continues to rise and the labor market becomes even tighter, suppliers are struggling to keep pace. This is where the best manufacturing companies have a chance to shine.
Of course, solid process implementation and great hiring practices foster a culture of success. However, even when such strategies are equal among manufacturers, the advantage will go to those that invest in the proper equipment. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools are expected to offer that edge. CNC equipment provides automation of machine tools by means of computers executing pre-programmed sequences of machine control commands.
Global growth in CNC sales is projected to mirror the steady growth in manufacturing.
CNC machines reduce the rate of human errors and drive better productivity, especially in an age of interconnected machines. At the same time, the market is demanding tighter tolerances and bidding more complex jobs.
Several trends in CNC are helping the best companies to maintain their competitive edge:
- High-speed machining, which requires research into what tools and processes work best for specific applications;
- Integration of 3D printing, either composite or metal, with CNC processes; and
- The addition of bar feeders, pallet changers and parts catchers to CNC machines that will improve the automation process and offset labor issues;
One report projects the global CNC market will grow an average of 6 percent per year during the next six years with revenues reaching more than $90 billion. Another report expects the global CNC machine tools market will expand at an annual rate of more than 9 percent.
The bottom line is that your competition has invested in CNC or is considering an investment in CNC. So whether your business is an OEM or a Tier 1 or Tier 2 supplier, you cannot afford to be left behind the curve.
For more information on the latest CNC technology, contact your Reynolds Machinery representative.